Is your baby getting the daily sleep and activity they need? See how long 10 month old wake windows should be to keep your baby’s sleep routine predictable.
10 months old is one of my favorite ages for babies.
Your 10-month old is likely full of equal parts personality and mobility.
A lot is happening in your baby’s physical and cognitive development around 10 months old, making good sleep all the more important.
Let’s talk about 10-month-old wake windows and how to use them to make sure your baby is getting enough time to practice all their new skills, while optimizing their sleep.
How Long Should A 10-Month-Old Be Awake Between Naps?
A 10-month-old’s wake windows should be between 3 to 3.5 hours, including eat and play time.
You’ll notice that your baby’s wake windows are going to be very similar (if not the same) to their 9 month old wake windows.
Wake windows are the ideal amount of time your baby can stay awake between sleeps, and the clock starts as soon as you get your baby out of their crib in the morning.
I work with families to help them find that wake window sweet spot (not too long and not too short). Using wake windows provides a framework for adjusting your baby’s sleep schedule as they grow.
When your baby is 10 months old, the recommended wake window is 3-3.5 hours. That means there should be 3 to 3.5 hours between when you get them out of bed and when they’re ready to sleep again.
Signs That It’s Time to Increase Wake Windows
If you’re not sure how to tell if your 10-month-old’s wake windows need to be increased, there are some signs you can look for.
The first thing to pay attention to is whether your baby is waking up too early in the morning.
Some early wake-ups now and then are inevitable. But if these early mornings start happening consistently over many days in a row, it’s your baby’s way of telling you it’s time to adjust their schedule.
Another sign to look for is whether it’s taking your baby longer than 15 minutes to fall asleep in their crib at nap time. If you’re hitting the wake windows just right, your baby should be ready to fall asleep in 15 minutes or less.
If your baby starts taking short naps, such as napping for less than an hour at a time, that can be another indication that they’re ready for a little more awake time in their schedule.
Finally, if you start running into some battles at bedtime—more crying/resistance or taking longer to fall asleep than usual—this can be another indication that wake windows need to be tweaked.
Once your baby isn’t fighting bedtime and is falling asleep easily again, it’s an indication that you’ve adjusted your baby’s wake windows sufficiently.
Remember, at this age, there won’t be big changes to the wake windows. You’ll be surprised how even a modest 15-minute extension here and there can make a difference.
Is 10 Months Too Early for One Nap?
You’ve already made the switch from 3 to 2 naps, but is it time to transition to one nap soon?
Probably not just yet.
The average 10-month-old needs between 12 to 14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. This includes 11 to 12 hours at night and about 2 to 3 hours of daytime sleep.
Two naps spread throughout the day provide your baby the rest they need to take the sleep pressure off and to keep them from getting overtired.
The 10-month sleep regression (sometimes called the 9 month sleep regression) can interfere with your baby’s sleep, especially nap time.
Make sure to stay consistent, and ride the regression out as opposed to switching to one nap prematurely.
Instead of transitioning to one nap, you can trim a little time off of your baby’s naps, so they aren’t getting as much daytime sleep. See the sample 10-month old sleep schedule below.
Sleep Regression and Schedule Changes
As I mentioned before, the common sleep regression that hits around the 9-month mark can actually be more of a 10-month sleep regression.
Basically sometime between 8 and 10 months, babies go through major developmental and physiological changes that temporarily impact their somewhat steady sleep schedule.
The key word here is temporary. It’s important to avoid making sweeping sleep schedule changes in response to a sleep regression.
That’s why it’s helpful to learn the signs of a sleep regression. Slight adjustments to wake windows (around 15 minutes or so) are fine, but now is not the time to do something drastic like dropping a nap or completely changing bed time.
10-Month-Old Sleep Schedule
Your 10-month-old’s wake windows throughout the day won’t necessarily all be the same length. Many babies do best with their shortest wake window at the beginning of the day.
By the time that first nap rolls around, they’re ready for a rest.
I’ve included a sample 10-month-old sleep schedule below. You’ll notice that in this example, the first wake window of the day is 3 hours long, while the other two are 3.5 hours long.
If it’s taking your baby longer than 15 minutes to fall asleep for the first nap, consider gradually extending the wake window to 3.25 hours or even 3.5 hours over the course of a few days.
Likewise, if you are noticing lots of sleepy cues and fussiness by the end of the day, you can adjust the last wake window of the day to be a bit shorter.
Example 10-Month-Old Sleep Schedule
7:00 am — Wake for the day
10:00 to 11:15 am — Nap 1
2:45 to 4:00 pm — Nap 2
7:30 pm — Bedtime
Get More Help with the Baby Sleep Schedule Binder
Are you looking for more help with wake windows based on age?
Check out the Baby Sleep Schedule Binder, which includes easy-to-follow wake window guides broken down by age. You can also find examples of sleep schedules all they way up to 4 years old.
The Baby Sleep Schedule Binder is a great tool you can use as you adjust your 10-month-old’s wake windows and sleep schedule.
Questions? Let me know in the comments below!
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